FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2017
Election history was made today in Stafford and Fredericksburg. Joshua Cole, a candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates 28th District, is now the official Democratic nominee for that elected position. He is the first African-American and the youngest candidate to ever win the Democratic nomination for House District 28.
Earlier today, the 28th House of Delegates District Democratic Nominating Committee cancelled the Unassembled Caucus scheduled for May 21 at the Berea Firehouse. Cole was one of two Democratic candidates to file, but the other candidate dropped out in early April. Cole is now the official Democratic candidate and nominee for the 28th House of Delegates District, which covers much of western Stafford County and Fredericksburg. As such, his name will not be on the June 13 Primary ballot, but it will be on the General Election ballot in November.
“I am so honored to be the first African-American and the youngest nominated for this enormous and very important task,” Cole said. “Those pioneers before me, such as Dr. William Ferguson Reid and Rev. Lawrence Davies, paved my way. I am indebted to them.”
In 1968, Reid became the first African-American elected to the Virginia General Assembly since Reconstruction, and in 1976, Fredericksburg citizens elected Davies as their first African-American mayor, a post he held for 20 years.
“It’s nice to make history,” Cole added, “but this is not the history we want and need to make. Our goal is much higher and our aim is for Richmond.”
A bright new voice in the Commonwealth’s Democratic process, Cole is an Associate Pastor at Union Bell Baptist Church in Southern Stafford, and he serves as a behavioral aid for students in the Richmond Public Schools. He also spends time volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of the Rappahannock Region.
“I want to make a difference,” Cole said. “With the new leadership in the White House, I see that our country is heading backwards. Now is the time to step up and take action, to participate in the democratic process. We can’t afford not to.”
On Jan. 12, Joshua Cole challenged Speaker Bill Howell for his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Howell has since announced his retirement and will not be running for re-election. Appointed by Howell, Cole has served as the personal Page for (then) Governor Mark Warner and went on to serve as the Virginia Senate Chamber staff assistant during the 2016 General Assembly. Cole has seen the secret voice voting in committee and the battle of party politics. He promises to work for an open, transparent and accessible democracy. He assures the residents of Stafford and Fredericksburg will get their say in Richmond. Cole, an Associate Pastor at the Union Bell Baptist Church in Southern Stafford, serves as a behavioral aid for students in Richmond Public Schools and spends time volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club in the local area. Children and education are high priorities, but so are transportation, health care and the state justice system. Cole is a fresh new voice for Stafford and Fredericksburg.